My family has spent the last year traveling around South America with our two children (5 and 2). We are living in Argentina for a year and a half while my husband works and because our time here is finite; we travel whenever we can.
4 Healthy Tips For Traveling With Kids
At first the idea of traveling with my 2 year old felt like I was signing up for a slow and cruel punishment, but our desire to see new and interesting destinations eventually trumped my fears about being trapped on a plane with a toddler. I’ve collected an extensive list of my favorite travel essentials and tips and I’d like to share them with you today.
1. Pack Your Own Travel Food
While my husband books our flights and housing, I usually start planning our travel food menu. I find that when my kids eat healthy during our travel days they feel better. And if they feel better, they behave better. I never leave for a trip without our amazing travel cooler filled with protein-packed snacks because if my kids have balanced blood sugar throughout the day, they are less likely to throw tantrums in the middle of the airport, or worse, ON THE PLANE…
2. Pack a Miracle Backpack
This backpack has seen us through ALL of our travel with kids. I debated about the cost at first, but it is worth every penny in my opinion. It is large enough to fit everything you need and is easy to organize so you can access toys, clothes, and diapers (it fits 12!) without having to repack it every time you search for something. My husband jokes that if needed I can pull a rabbit out of this thing. While I don’t usually pack a rabbit, I DO pack the following travel essentials:
- Large plastic bags (never leave home without them!)
- Disposable bags for dirty diapers or to use as an airplane garbage bag
- Travel wash cloths
- Light blanket
- Hand spray and wipes for the time when soap and water can't be found
- Toothbrushes and travel toothpaste
- Mini first aid kit
- All-in-one healing salve stick
- Sunscreen stick
- Mini spoons
- Extra change of clothes for kids
- Painter's tape for creating all sorts of pictures on the tray table
- Deck of cards
- Box of Band aids for play (my kids go crazy for Band aids)
- Pipe cleaners
- Silly putty
- Books about travel (our favorites are this one and this one) to prepare for takeoff
- Sticker books like this one and this one
- Finger puppets for little ones
- Coloring books
- Markers or colored pencils
- Ipad, because let’s be real, this thing will entertain kids for hours
- Snack cups full of a favorite snack to help little ears pop
- Sippy cups with water or diluted juice to help ears pop
- Calming lavender essential oil (put a few drops in your hands, rub them together, and let the kids smell the aroma before takeoff for a calming effect)
3. Keep Healthy Before and During Travel.
I start prepping my children’s immune systems a few days before our flight by giving them elderberry syrup and a probiotic supplement daily. We also focus on eating nutrient-dense foods such as nourishing soups made with bone broth and I cut down on treats made with sugar as I know they are bound to get lots of treats while we are traveling.
Sleep is a priority before we travel to prepare them for the journey and the fun late nights that come with vacation. Because airplanes are dehydrating to the body, I make sure my kids drink lots of filtered water during the days prior to travel. And our final healthy habit is to swab coconut oil inside the nose with a Q-tip before we leave for the airport. Use a small amount and put it slightly inside the nostril, don’t put the Q-tip too far up the nasal cavity as that could be dangerous!
Coconut oil is both anti-viral and bacterial and it literally “catches” the germs and particles flying around the airplane cabin before they make their way up the nasal cavity. Coconut oil is my secret travel weapon.
4. Plan for Delays and Stay Calm
When we leave the house for a travel adventure, I mentally release my expectation to control how our travel day unfolds. I expect the unexpected and I pack for delays and hiccups along the road. This mental exercise allows me to stay as calm as possible during hectic travel days. My kids pick up on my energy and they respond accordingly. If I am stressed out, I see my kids start to worry and act out. If I stay calm, my kids stay calm and that makes for a happier and healthier travel day.
What are your favorite travel tips for kids? Tell me in the comments below! Did you like what you read? Visit the Kula Mama website for more articles, tips and recipes.